KELOWNA, BC, Aug. 18, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Small businesses are at the heart of Canadian communities and are the engines that drive local economies. Their success is critical to accelerating inclusive growth that benefits everyone.
The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, visited Manitoba and British Columbia from August 15 to 18 to meet with diverse Canadian entrepreneurs, business owners and small business organizations. She discussed the government’s ongoing efforts to support them by breaking down barriers so they can access capital, adopt digital technologies, export into new markets and create good local jobs.
On August 15 in Winnipeg, Minister Ng announced that Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC) will start providing loans of up to $50,000 to women entrepreneurs and business owners this fall through the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund. A key part of the $6 billion Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund provides women entrepreneurs across the country with much-needed capital so they can start up, scale up and succeed. With the expansion of the loan fund through WEOC, nearly $30 million will be invested in women-owned businesses.
While meeting with local Manitoban Filipino business owners, Minister Ng announced that she will be visiting the Philippines on September 19 and 20, 2022, to strengthen trade and people-to-people ties between the two countries.
In British Columbia, the Minister met with the South Asian Business Association of British Columbia in Surrey, where she underscored the progress being made on negotiating an early progress trade agreement with India and talked about other supports to help small and medium-sized businesses expand into markets around the world.
Minister Ng highlighted the importance of rural and Indigenous economic development during her meetings with business owners and organizations in Osoyoos and Kelowna, including Nk’Mip Cellars, Crush Dynamics, Gorman Bros. Lumber and Northern Cherries. She concluded the tour by joining Accelerate Okanagan, a business accelerator, to discuss how federal investments through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy and the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative are supporting women entrepreneurs in STEM fields through capital, networks and mentorship.
Boosting economic recovery, supporting diverse entrepreneurs and accelerating the digital transformation of Canadian businesses will help them stay competitive while creating jobs and growing the economy.
“Entrepreneurs and small business owners across Manitoba and British Columbia punch above their weight with their innovation, talent and resilience. They are the economic backbone of their communities and the creator of good local jobs. Through historic investments in digital adoption, women entrepreneurship and rural economic development, our government will continue to have the backs of business owners and entrepreneurs just as they have had the backs of Canadians across Western Canada.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
- The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), a more than $6-billion investment, includes:
- the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, which is enabling existing women-focused loan programs to provide additional affordable microloans to women entrepreneurs;
- the Inclusive Women Venture Capital Initiative, which seeks to strengthen access to funding and build a more inclusive venture capital environment for Canadian women;
- the WES Ecosystem Fund, which is helping remove barriers to the support networks and deliver the resources that women entrepreneurs need to start up, scale up and access new markets; and
- the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, which has brought together 10 regional hubs, over 300 organizations and thousands of women entrepreneurs to create a more inclusive and supportive environment to grow women’s entrepreneurship in Canada.
- The government is also investing in removing systemic barriers faced by diverse entrepreneurs through programs like the Black Entrepreneurship Program.
- To ensure women have equal access to the benefits and opportunities arising from international investment, Canada is taking an inclusive approach to trade by integrating gender-related provisions in all its free trade agreements. The government has also co-signed the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement—a stand-alone initiative open to other economies to join.
- Announced in Budget 2021, the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is an investment in helping businesses succeed. It is expected to support as many as 160,000 small businesses and help create thousands of jobs, including up to 28,000 job placements for students and recent graduates to gain valuable work experience.
- CDAP consists of $1.4 billion in grants and advisory services to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) adopt e-commerce and up to $2.6 billion in loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to help SMEs cover the cost of implementing digital transformation plans.
- The Grow Your Business Online option provides microgrants of up to $2,400 and support from e-commerce advisors to help small businesses implement digital storefronts and e-commerce capabilities.
- The Boost Your Business Technology option provides grants covering 90% of costs, up to $15,000, for advisory services to develop a digital adoption plan; access to interest-free loans from the BDC; and opportunities for student placements.
- SMEs interested in applying for a grant or loan under CDAP can answer a few quick questions online to help determine the funding that is best suited to meet their needs.
- Retail e-commerce rapidly increased during the pandemic. According to Statistics Canada data, year-over-year retail e-commerce increased by more than 110% in May 2020 compared to May 2019.
SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada